If we want to feel like we’re really in the country, all we need to do is look out the window.
This is a picture that I took this morning from the front window and it is basically the same everyday – a small herd of deer munching on whatever they can.
These guys don’t look too scrawny, but the usual suspects all have ribs that protrude to the extent that makes one want to cry.
That said, I’m grateful for the deer fence that protects our backyard and the delectable plant specimens that are irresistible to deer, i.e. the meager grapevine out back that I leave untouched for the birds to get high on over the winter.
The deer fence became necessary after they almost completely consumed a beautiful (and expensive) Austrian pine last year. The remnants now grace my entrance portico as a festive (and expensive) Christmas decoration.
I dunno. It’s a hard choice to make. Let them feed or let them starve.
What would / do you do?
mike garrison says
We have the same problem on our farm in Idaho, only we have elk also.
The local fish and game person is a good resource for “how to” deal with the wildlife.
Hope that gives you a starting place.
P.S thanks for all your insights.
Rosalind Gardner says
Great idea. Thanks for that. I’m to the point where I plant deer-proof specimens as much as as possible out in the front where there’s no deer fence, and let them eat the existing plantings at will.
They actually do a great pruning job, because unlike humans they don’t / won’t consume everything to the point that nothing flourishes the following year.
Stephanie Garrison says
Oh my, what BIG deer you have my dear! *pun intended* 😀
I’m an animal lover! Would love if that was happening in my yard. As to the statement…let them feed or starve? Definitely feed! I think God knows whom of his children he can trust NOT to hurt his animals…don’t think it’s coincidence they show up there. The problem I would have is not buying feed to give them. lol Again..love animals!
Rosalind Gardner says
Exactly my problem… although I know the neighbours (and the city) would shoot me if I did that.
Lisa Marie Mary says
Ah – wow! That’s amazing, to have them right there in the yard like that! We got them last year – across the street and such, but, never right in the yard! I think I’d be like Sophia and let them eat and maybe even buy them feed. I imagine the wildlife guy (rangers…) wouldn’t like that too much, though. or the neighbors, for that matter!
I don’t know, it’s definitely a hard call to make!
Mike Adams says
Great blog, your articles are very informative and have helped me so much
Michael Hall says
Wow those are so cool, we don’t have deer here in the bahamas or almost any wild animals for that matter.
I actually thought they were fake lawn ornaments at first, like those plastic flamingos, lol.
personally i’d try to plant more of what they like in a section of the yard, they are really lovely, I’ve never seen a real deer(or snow) before.
Hi Ros and everyone,
I remember reading a book a long time ago that talked about what happens when we feed deer, or any other type of wildlife. I don’t remember the details, but I do remember the gist of it, and here it is: that the most well-meaning animal lovers can do the wrong thing, and cause greater suffering, by feeding wildlife. What happens when we for example feed deer in or near our home, is that more animals are able to survive; this increases the population, which then puts MORE STRAIN on the existing food supply. This means that you then have a population with not enough food for ANY of them, and they ALL starve. Helpful? Not at all. So what we think of as helping out these oh-so-cute animals is actually the worst thing we can do. Nature appears cruel, but is often kinder than we are, and it’s also a self-regulating mechanism that we interfere with at our own peril. While it’s sad, the best and kindest thing to do about feeding deer is to do nothing.. Hope this helps.